Hanging in there

Personal, Pilates

Arms’ Reach

The last few sessions were quite challenging and intense. There was a lot around using my arms properly and trusting them to do their job.
Trivial as it sounds, it turns out to be quite hard for me and there’s a lot of work at the moment in making it happen. It is baffling how I can recruit my arms in some exercises but not at all in others. A pull up is currently a wild ambitious when other exercises require much more from the same muscles.
pilates, hanging, arms, body memories, accident, fall

Hanging and Letting Go

The idea of hanging is particularly confusing. I’ve been trying to understand why and it all seems to come down to how my mind perceives these things. In many ways, it feels as if my arms are just not strong enough for that and if only I had more muscle… but that wouldn’t explain why I can’t do other, arguably, much tougher things.
I came to think of an accident when I was a kid. I fell off from the top of a cliff and, in normal circumstances, it would have been a fatal episode. Somehow I grabbed some nettle plants on the cliff while I was falling and ended up hanging from them. After a while, I just couldn’t hold on anymore and fainted and resumed the fall. The altitude wasn’t as high anymore so I only broke the left clavicle and stayed in the hospital for a short while. I also can’t remember anything until I woke up in an ambulance. The cask wasn’t properly setup but my dad took me for a second opinion and they spotted the error. A happy ending.
It could be that at some level, my body remembers this accident very well and doesn’t trust hanging at all. One could argue that if I hadn’t been able to grab and hang to begin with, I wouldn’t be here at all. So, in that sense, my arms were the heroes and saved me.
It’s going to take time and work but it is going to work. My arms do things for me every day, all the time. They are a key point of interaction with the world and I want to be in sync with them. I want to be connected and welcome my arms as a part of my body. Also, soon, there will be a baby to hold and we should both feel safe with him in my arms. They will take care of this baby as they took care of me all along.
Particularly crazy arm-related exercises:
  • Leg Series on Air – Cadillac 
  • Standing Arm Series – Cadillac
  • Getting in/out of Half hanging – Cadillac
  • Push down with Back Arms – Wunda Chair
  • Long Stretch Series – Reformer